Soundmagic E11BT


The headphone you really want probably cost a few hundred pounds, but the bank balance doesn’t always facilitate. Luckily, you can get decent budget headphones giving you great sound on the go.

We’ve reviewed the best cheap headphones you can buy, all under £100 with many under £50, with a range of style styles and types for you to choose from. Scroll past the list for some buying advice on choosing the right pair.

Best cheap headphones 2020

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1. Soundmagic E11BT – Best Overall

2. TaoTronic SoundLiberty 79 – Best Wireless Earbuds

TaoTronic SoundLiberty 79

3. SoundMagic E11C – Best Wired Earbuds

SoundMagic E11C

4. Xiaomi Redmi AirDots – Best Value Wireless Earbuds

Xiaomi Redmi AirDots

5. OnePlus Type-C Bullets – Best for USB-C

OnePlus Type-C Bullets

6. Huawei FreeBuds 3i – Best ANC Earbuds

Huawei FreeBuds 3i

7. Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 – Best for Custom Sound

Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2

8. Tribit QuietPlus ANC – Best On-Ear with ANC

Tribit QuietPlus ANC

9. Audio-Technica ATH-AR3BT – Best Battery Life

Audio-Technica ATH-AR3BT

10. Hër On-Ear – Most Stylish

Hër On-Ear Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

Your buying guide for the best cheap headphones in 2020

Mobile music lovers have never had it so good – although some modern smartphones no longer have a headphone jack, the standard headphones you get with smartphones are at an all-time high in terms of quality.

This does tend to be flagship phones though and cheaper ones might not even come with some in the box. Either way, spending a little to upgrade your headphones is one of the best ways to get the most from a smartphone, or any other portable music player.

If you’re looking for something more premium and high-end then check out our chart of best headphones. If you’re looking for current bargains, take a look at our pick of the best headphones deals.

The instant lift in audio quality needs to be heard to be believed – better, more impactful bass, crisper, more detailed treble and better isolation from the outside world are all worth the investment. Choosing headphones isn’t just about improved audio quality, though – there are plenty of things to consider to make sure you end up with something that suits you perfectly. We also have a chart just for the best wireless headphones.

For a long time, it was unfeasible to get cheap headphones with active noise cancelling (or ANC) but things have changed, although the feature is still going to add money to the price tag compared to those without. We have a dedicated round-up for the best noise cancelling headphones which you can browse, too.

Types of cheap headphones

In general, there are three types of headphones to choose from: in-ear, on-ear and over-ear. They do as you would expect although often have different names and within each category, you can get various styles.

Most buyers will be looking for the first two, as over-ear headphones are big and heavy so are more suited for static use at home or at your desk.

The cheapest are in-ear, or earbuds, as they are the most basic but getting on-ear headphones might improve both comfort and sound quality. Look out for extra features like an in-line control, microphone and comfortable foam tips.

Find out how we test audio.

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